Alchemy is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and is one of the six skills that falls under The Thief play-style. Alchemy is the art of combining raw ingredients with matching effects to produce potions and poison. It is one of the three crafting skills in Skyrim, together with Smithing and Enchanting. It is affected by The Thief Stone and, as with all skills, by The Lover Stone.
Ingredients are used to create potions that have specific effects. Each ingredient has four set effects. Each effect is labeled "unknown" until the Dragonborn uses an Alchemy Lab to combine ingredients that share one or more effects. Those shared effects will then be revealed permanently for those ingredients in the future, and one or more relevant potions will be available in the Alchemy Lab menu screen for convenience. The first effect can also be revealed by 'eating' the ingredient, which immediately causes the effect on the player after consumption. All ingredient effects are temporary, and only Jarrin Root is potentially fatal if eaten, making experimenting quite safe. With perks, all four effects can be found by eating a single ingredient.
All alchemy merchants have recipes for sale in their shops. Recipes can also be found as loot. Recipes list ingredients that share a given effect which helps limit the experimentation required to find the effects of each ingredient. However, some of these recipes are inaccurate.
Brewing potions requires an Alchemy Lab, which can be found in various locations throughout Skyrim, such as alchemy supply shops, private studies, some inns, court wizards' quarters, and can be purchased for player-owned homesHF. When interacting with an Alchemy Lab, the Dragonborn will see a menu. At the top is 'Ingredients', which opens a sub-menu which lists all the ingredients currently in the inventory. Below that is a list of all known effects on all ingredients in the inventory. Each of those open a sub-menu which lists only ingredients that share that effect. When all or part of the chosen ingredients fail to create an effect, attempting to combine the same ingredients again will darken the names of ingredients which were previously proven to produce nothing with the first ingredient selected.
Potions and poisonsEdit
Potions and poisons, which are confusingly collectively called "potions" sometimes, are items produced as a result of brewing at an Alchemy Lab. In typical parlance, potions affect the Dragonborn. Examples include those that increase the maximum of ("Fortify"), regenerate over time, or instantly replenish stats like Stamina, Magicka, or Health, that increase the magnitude of spells cast, that increase skills like One-Handed or Smithing, or that alter the player with Invisibility. Poisons affect others. Damage Health, Slow, Paralyze, Weakness to Fire, and Lingering Damage Magicka are common examples of a poison's effects. A brewed potion (in the collective sense of the word) always has a name describing its dominant effect. Unlike found potions, which can have alternate names and usually only one effect, brewed potions always have one consistent name, regardless of the number of effects contained. This can lead to some confusion when finding a potion to consume from the inventory. The value of a potion is derived from the number of effects and their magnitude, regardless of the utility of the potion. In fact, some craftable poisons can benefit the enemy, and some craftable potions can harm the Dragonborn. The Alchemy perk Purity removes this possibility for potions crafted in the future. Using a potion involves simply selecting it from the inventory, while poisons are applied to weapons such as a sword or a bow by equipping the weapon to be poisoned and then selecting a poison to apply to it.
The following actions raise the alchemy skill:
- Mixing a potion at an Alchemy Lab. More valuable potions increase Alchemy skill faster. The most valuable potion known to date requires Hearthfire, and can be brewed at an Alchemy Lab by mixing Garlic, Nordic Barnacle, and Salmon Roe. The resulting potion regenerates health and magicka faster. It also allows the Dragonborn to breathe underwater, making it ideal for both mages and warriors to use while hiding underwater.
- Also with Hearthfire you can grow Canis Root and Imp Stool at your homestead to create poisons of Paralyze. Since you can have 18 plots to grow these plants with both a garden and a Greenhouse which will all yield 3 ingredients you can create 27 of these potions each time the plants regrow.
- Eating a raw ingredient and learning a new effect.
- If you don't have Hearthfire then mixing Giant's Toe, Blisterwort and Wheat will give almost the same amount of XP.
The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the player's Alchemy Skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.
- A Game at Dinner
- De Rerum Dirennis
- Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
- Mannimarco, King of Worms
- Song of the Alchemists
|Arcadia||Expert||Arcadia's Cauldron, Whiterun City|
|Babette||Master||Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or later Dawnstar Sanctuary|
|Milore Ienth||Expert||Raven Rock, Solstheim|
Completing a quest for an Alchemist merchant allows the Dragonborn to take some of the ingredients on display without it being considered stealing. The following Miscellaneous Quests increase Alchemy or improve the results of Alchemy.
- In Dawnstar at The Mortar and Pestle for Frida – Retrieve the Ring of Pure Mixtures for Frida
- Find Song of the Alchemists for Lami, in Morthal
- In Whiterun, at Arcadia's Cauldron; for Arcadia – bring frost salts to Arcadia.
- Retrieve the Finn's Lute for Inge Six Fingers at the Bards College in Solitude awards the player with one level of every Thief-governed skill, including Alchemy.
- Discerning the Transmundane can award the player with five levels of every Thief-governed skill, including Alchemy.
- A Return To Your Roots awards the player with the alchemy boosting effect Sinderion's Serendipity which provides a 25% chance of producing an extra potion.
The following are perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up:
|Alchemist (5)||Alchemy 0/ 20/ 40/ 60/ 80||Potions and poisons are 20% / 40% / 60% / 80% / 100% stronger.|
|Physician||Alchemy 20, Alchemist||Potions you mix that restore health or stamina are 25% more powerful.|
|Poisoner||Alchemy 30, Physician||Poisons you mix are 25% more effective.|
|Benefactor||Alchemy 30, Physician||Potions you mix with beneficial effects have an additional 25% greater magnitude.|
|Experimenter (3)||Alchemy 50/ 70/ 90, Benefactor||Eating an ingredient reveals the first two / three / four effects.|
|Concentrated Poison||Alchemy 60, Poisoner||Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits.|
|Green Thumb||Alchemy 70, Concentrated Poison||Two ingredients are gathered from plants (description is misleading - two ingredients or food items are gathered from any static harvest-able object - be it plant, fungi, hanging fish or meat, egg clusters, etc.) Known exception: Nirnroot (has only 1 root).|
|Snakeblood||Alchemy 80, Concentrated Poison, Experimenter||50% resistance to all poisons.|
|Purity||Alchemy 100, Snakeblood||All negative effects are removed from created potions while all positive effects are removed from created poisons.|
Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion